So you've been rejected...
Rejection is never easy to swallow or easy to sparrow. Just a little bird humor to get going. Anyhow, rejection is tough. What I’m talking about in this article is mostly rejection from craft shows. So if Todd sent back that note in class and responded “No” to the “Do you like like me?”, this isn’t the article for you.
Surprise! Even I’ve been rejected from craft shows! I think most of us have all been through it. It gets easier after a dozen or so but there’s always that initial sting. You’ve put so much work, the best you can do, into your business to get it ready to apply. You send out that application with fingers and toes crossed. Then you start seeing fellow artisans getting accepted and you haven’t heard back yet. A sinking feeling starts setting into your gut. BAM! You get the email saying you’re just not good enough. Well, at least that’s how you see it. It reads a bit differently though. Trust me, I’ve been pretty upset by some rejection letters and others not that much. I myself have never sent out angry e-mails to the organizers because you DO NOT want to burn those bridges. Unless you plan to never take part in those shows ever and even then, people talk. I’ve heard of people really laying into the organizers of these events. I feel that just shows their true colors and how unprepared they are to run a small business.
How should you deal with a rejection? Take a deep breath, it’s not personal. You can politely e-mail the organizers and ask for feedback. You may not like what they have to say but it’ll be constructive criticism. You can take a look at your product photos or online presence because these are taken into consideration when making a decision to have you in their show. I’ve come a little way on both those categories and could improve even further.
Another way to deal with rejection is to create your own opportunities. After a few rejections, I decided to host my own Pop Up Shop with a few other artisans, some of which I know rarely get the chance to be in big shows like Etsy or Puces Pop (Montreal). It was a lot of work and I had help but it was an experience I mostly enjoyed. If anything it showed me how hard it is to organize these events.
There’s no reason to harass organizers if you’ve been rejected. Show them you can do better by actually doing better and improving your business. Put that anger towards proving to them they made a horrible mistake passing on you. Then when you apply next time, you’ll have better odds!
P.S Check out my previous article on how to pick the right event for you!
Click here for that article!